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Truffle hunting in France highlights Bordeaux river cruise

Truffles, the fruit of a fungus, are an acquired taste, which is much easier to acquire than the truffles themselves. These delicacies cost a pretty penny in restaurants, and finding their natural wooded whereabouts, hidden just below the surface of the ground, is a learned and lucrative craft. Searching in the wilds of Europe for […]

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Cruising on Bordeaux’s capricious rivers, with wine, of course

When your riverboat cruises past road signs that remind you of high-priced bottles in a fancy wine store, you know you are in France. A week on the 190-passenger Viking Forseti, for instance, begins and ends in Bordeaux, a city in the center of one of the world’s great grape-growing regions. On a voyage last […]

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2014’s best cruise experiences

Before we all get caught up in guessing about cruise trends and goals for 2015 — such as which major cruise line will be the first to announce Havana as a port of call — let’s look back at some favorite cruise experiences from 2014: Best new onboard activity Simulated sky-diving on Quantum of the […]

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Married at sea, a big splash on Regal Princess cruise

A month after my wedding aboard the Regal Princess, cruising in international waters near the Bahamas, I still am reveling in all the excitement. Fran Golden and I were married during the first North American voyage of the newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet. The cruise attracted a large group of media as well as the ship’s godparents, […]

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Getting up to speed on Quantum, world’s smartest cruise ship

Remember your first computer, your first smart phone? Royal Caribbean’s revolutionary new Quantum of the Seas, now cruising out of New York, is the first “smart ship.” Quantum is as exciting, as occasionally frustrating, and as puzzling as any other new gee-whizzy gadget with the power to change your lifestyle at home, at work, or, […]

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A look at Royal Caribbean’s brand new Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s revolutionary new Quantum of the Seas, now cruising out of New York City, is billed as the first “smart ship.” Quantum, the world’s third largest cruise ship behind Royal Caribbean’s sisters, Oasis and Allure, carries 4,180 passengers and offers a bunch of “firsts at sea.” I found these firsts great fun on a […]

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When lunch at a cruise port is a welcome excursion

When you are planning a port day for an upcoming cruise, and are looking to step away from the typical tour paths, consider lunch. One way to get a feel of a port is to taste it. I look for casual spots that attract locals, have reasonable prices, and menus with regional specialties. For cruisers, […]

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Cruising guest stars on Regal Princess’ Love Boat

As we get ready to sail from Fort Lauderdale on Princess Cruises, I feel like a guest star on the old TV show, “The Love Boat.” My ship, of course, is not the Pacific Princess, the vessel I first cruised on, in 1983, between Acapulco and Los Angeles, during filming with actors Gavin MacLeod as […]

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Cruise lines offer more beverage packages in rising tide of bar tabs

For vacationers, the biggest surprise aboard their first cruise probably has nothing to do with the feel of rolling seas. More likely, the surprise will be their bar tab. The cost of alcohol, whether you buy by the drink or as part of the ship’s beverage packages, has become one of cruising’s more confusing, and […]

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Royal Caribbean hopes to lure new cruisers with Quantum of the Seas’ flexible dining

Cruise lines have not come close to enticing all the potential cruisers in North America to try at least one vacation at sea, or so they say. But cruising may already have exhausted the pool of people who want to sit each evening for a week, during long, three-course dinners in a big dining room. That […]

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